November is here. The air is crisp, the leaves are beginning to turn, and my heart turns to gratitude in this season in which we make ready for two major holidays: Thanksgiving and Christmas. At the church we begin the season with All Saints’ Sunday. We bring Thanksgiving bags to the church for ACTC. We celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends, and next month, Advent will be here.
One of the singular events we have during November is Stewardship. This year we are focusing on what we are grateful for. There are many things to be irritated about. I often fall into the trap of being negative about one thing or another. It is a fight I must wage, because negativity does not accomplish anything. For that reason, we will spend the first three weeks of November thinking of the many things we are grateful for. Here are some questions for you to ponder:
- Name some things you are grateful for at St. Thomas’
- Name some blessings that cause you to be thankful.
- What attribute of God creates joy for you?
As you ponder these things, leave the negativity behind. I find that when I get into the negative trap, the best way to get out of it is to begin writing down what I am thankful for. Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit who rewrote St. Ignatius’ spiritual exercises, had his disciples write 70 things they were grateful for each night! What a wonderful exercise for us.
We will end Stewardship on November 18, celebrating the bringing in of pledges with a potluck brunch. Bring your favorite food to share, and your pledge card. We are praying for a good season of stewardship this year. Please be part of the goodness of St. Thomas’. Remember that our goal is always to love, and to love more deeply as we live more fully into the will of God.
“Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.”
― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Rev. Loree A. Penner